During this year's Design Miami/Basel and as part of Vitra Design Museum's exhibiton 'Confrontations', Formafantasma will present a new project titled 'Charcoal'.
Curated by Amelie Znidaric and presented in conjunction with a major retrospective of works by Gerrit Rietveld, the exhibition is the result of Vitra's engagement with five of the Netherlands' most innovative contemporary designers. The museum asked the designers to collaborate with a partner from the region to develop a design proposal, and Formafantasma - whose previous work has commented on the notion of tradition and nostalgia - has drawn inspiration from the tension between the dystopian connotation of charcoal, causing pollution and destruction, while also being employed in healthcare and water purification.
In collaboration with a glass blower and wood carver, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin produced a series of jars and wooden 'filters'. Over the course of a few days spent with Mrs. Doris Wicki and photographer Luisa Zanzani in a forest near Zurich, the customised wooden pieces were left to burn and deteriorate while the process was documented. The charred remains were further sculpted into a series of elements to be added to the jars. In addition, a small glass bottle was blown into a hollow carbonized log, the resulting glass becoming opaque and textured where it came into contact with the charcoal, yet maintaining clarity in the rest of the body.
During the opening of the exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum Campus, Formafantasma and Mrs. Wicki will build a small oven; in the gallery, black charcoal bread (baked following a traditional recipe to aid digestion) and purified water will be served.June 7, 2012